Botany and Ecology
Botany and Ecology

Botany and Ecology

Our current selection of Botany and Ecology classes and workshops for adults for this season at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.


Introduction to Bee Lining

with Erin MacGregor-Forbes
Tuesday, April 25
1 – 4:30 p.m.
at Zak's Preserve

“Bee Lining” or bee hunting is an activity older even than beekeeping, with the first written descriptions of the methods for finding the nest of a wild bee colony written by a Roman farmer in the first century A.D. Bee Lining is a delightful outdoor activity in which the “hunter” finds, temporarily captures, feeds, and then releases individual wild bees and follows them back to their residence. This workshop will introduce participants to the basic bee biology and behaviors which allow us to understand how to effectively track individuals as they “make a bee line” back to their nest. We will begin with an illustrated lecture and overview at the nearby Zak Preserve, and then proceed as a group and conduct a hands-on “hunt” in the preserve. A rain date is set for Thursday, April 27.


Signs of the Seasons

with Esperanza Stancioff and Beth Bisson
Thursday, April 27
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Education Center Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is once again teaming up with the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant to participate in “Signs of the Seasons,” a citizen science program that engages volunteers in observing plant and animal phenology, which is the study of seasonal life events, such as when birds make their nests in the spring, when berries ripen in the summer, and when leaves change color in the autumn. Each participant will choose as many indicator species as they wish, and identify and mark a site(s) where they will observe these species throughout most of the year. For more information about this research program, visit http://umaine.edu/signs-of-the-seasons Questions about this volunteer opportunity may be directed to Esperanza Stancioff, Extension Education, at esp@maine.edu. Registration for training sessions is through the Gardens website.


Birding by Ear

with Bob Duchesne
Saturday, May 13
2 - 5 p.m.

It’s easier than you think. Just six quick tips will demystify how the experts identify birds instantly by their songs. For newcomers, it’s a great chance to learn a new skill. For experienced birders hoping to brush up, it’s a great refresher course. This course will take place out on the Gardens’ grounds and in the classroom, so dress prepared to hit the trails!


Field Identification of Mosses and Liverworts

with Ralph Pope
Wednesday-Friday, June 21-23
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Learn to identify mosses (including Sphagnum mosses) and liverworts. Sessions will focus on field and laboratory identification using the various habitats of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens as our field site. This course is intended for beginners and intermediates. Some experience with vascular plant identification and the use of keys will be helpful, but is not required. Please bring a hand lens if you have one.


Butterflies, Caterpillars and the Plants That Feed Them

with Andy Brand
Friday, August 11
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

There are over 110 species of butterflies that call Maine home. Butterflies not only add color and grace to our gardens, they are also valuable pollinators of many plant species. Join Andy and learn which plants will attract butterflies to your yards along with the host plants on which eggs are laid and caterpillars eat. All things butterflies will be discussed from their remarkable lifecycle as well as how to identify some of the commonly encountered species. Following a slide presentation Andy will lead participants on a leisurely walk through the Garden and highlight plants valuable to butterflies and identify any species flying about.

This class is an elective of our Certificate in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture program, but it is open to everyone.


Flora of Indiantown Island

with Melissa Cullina
Wednesday, September 6
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Co-sponsored with Boothbay Region Land Trust

Explore and “botanize” along the trails and shorelines of Indiantown Island on this excursion with CMBG botanist Melissa Cullina. Melissa will teach you about the plants adapted to life on the island, and will describe how understanding the island’s flora contributes to CMBG’s new collaborative project to document the flora of the Mid-coast region. Please bring a life jacket, hat, and hand lens (if you have one – we will have extras) and pack a lunch. Meet at the Knickerkane Island boat launch on Barter’s Island Road. Boat transportation to island provided by BRLT. Please contact the Boothbay Region Land Trust to register.